The Economics Department is happy to announce that 11 of our graduate students are completing their Ph.D. this academic year and are currently on the job market. Their fields range across environmental, industrial organization, international trade, labor, law and economics, macroeconomics, sports economics and urban. The students are listed below in alphabetical order along with the name of their major advisor, a brief summary of their dissertation, and any web links. Going forward, updated information may be found at the department’s job market page.

Gulgun Bayaz (advisor: Couch)
I investigate the role of market forces and the institutional constraints in explaining the earnings inequality differentials in the United States and Germany, by focusing on educational wage differentials. I find that differential growth in relative skill supplies is largely responsible for the differences in returns to skill leaving a secondary role for wage-setting institutions in explaining the differentials during the 1980s and 1990s.

Onur Burak Celik (advisor: Knoblauch)
My work departs from the mainstream matching theory literature and analyzes via simulations the effect of correlation in the preference lists on the aggregate satisfaction of the participants in roommates problem. Results show that correlation is an important factor on the aggregate satisfaction of the individuals. A higher correlation level among the preference lists leads to less satisfied participants.

Lei Chen (advisor: Ray)
I apply both non-parametric Data Envelopment Analysis and parametric Stochastic Frontier Analysis methods to study the production technology and efficiency in the U.S. dental care industry. The empirical analysis is based on a practice level data set constructed from the American Dental Association 2005 survey on private dental practices in Colorado. It is the first study focused on the technical efficiency of dental care industry in the U.S. at practice level in the last 25 years.

Paramita Dhar (advisor: Ross)
My dissertation examines two different questions about housing and location choice. In the first essay, I apply a difference-in-difference model to capture the causal effect of school quality on house prices by looking at houses located on school district boundaries in Connecticut. The rest of the dissertation deals with detailed spatial analysis of the nature of housing discrimination in the context of multiple minority groups in Los-Angeles using Housing Discrimination Study (2000).

Juan-Pedro Garces (advisor: Randolph)
The first essay –to be published this Fall in the Journal of Knowledge Globalization- is an empirical study of the determinants of educational quality, focusing on the special case of Chile, my native country. The second paper is a cross-country study of the effects of population density on educational attainment (as a proxy for human capital) and, through it, on living standards. The dataset contains panel data for 209 countries. This paper will be presented at the ASSA meetings in Atlanta in January 2010. The third paper presents a theoretical model of the influence of institutional development -including the educational system- on economic growth.

Nicoleta Iliescu (advisor: Matschke)
In my job market paper (“Antidumping as Trade Protection: Evidence from the US Lobby Activity”), I investigate the impact of lobbying on the antidumping practices in the US. Currently, antidumping is the most heavily used temporary tariff measure both worldwide and in the US. Thus, it becomes an appropriate avenue of studying how political pressure shapes the level of protection some domestic industries receive. The empirical results I derive in the paper reinforce the hypothesis that the political clout plays an important role in granting trade protection through antidumping duties.

Nicholas Jolly (advisor: Couch)
My job market paper focuses on the effects job displacement has on intragenerational earnings and income mobility. The main results of the paper show that an involuntary job loss significantly increases the probability of a worker moving into the bottom half of the labor earnings distribution not only in the year of displacement, but also for several years after the event occurs. However, if the worker has access to earnings and income from a spouse and government transfer payments, the negative mobility effects of displacement are significantly mitigated.

Maroula Khraiche (advisor: Zimmermann)
In my dissertation, I qualitatively and quantitatively evaluate the channels that affect labor migration, both skilled and unskilled, examining the effects of immigration policies on both the sending and receiving economies specifically considering guest worker programs, the implication of trade for migration, and informal labor markets.

Zinnia Mukherjee (advisor: Segerson)
The theme that runs through my dissertation is the design and evaluation of conservation policies to protect endangered species. In particular, I look at the effectiveness of voluntary approaches and the role of background regulatory threat in mitigating stochastic sea turtle bycatch and the welfare effects of unilateral conservation policies in an open economy. In addition to my dissertation, my research includes analyzing behavioral responses of fishers to marine hypoxia, with specific focus on the Long Island Sound fisheries.

Michael Stone (advisor: Miceli)
I present a theory which incorporates litigation costs into the standard economic model of punitive damages showing that caps on punitive damages induce under deterrence, but also reduce litigation costs. At the optimum, caps on punitive damages are justified when the marginal benefit of deterrence equals the marginal litigation cost. Utilizing a rich panel dataset from 1981 to 2005, I uncover some empirical evidence that litigation costs cause legislators to enact caps. There is compelling empirical evidence that the conflicting lobbying efforts of the legal services and insurance industries are most responsible for the enactment of caps.

Brian Volz (advisor: Miceli)
My dissertation examines discrimination and productivity in the professional baseball market. The first chapter, which has recently been published in The Journal of Sports Economics, finds evidence that minority managers are more likely to return the following season than comparable white managers. The second chapter finds evidence that discrimination in hiring may contribute to this higher survival rate. The third chapter examines how efficiently MLB teams produce wins and attempts to identify team characteristics which lead to efficient production.